tv Netroots Nation Conference CSPAN July 6, 2013 8:00pm-9:21pm EDT
>> the author talks about presidential marriages and how the first ladies have helped shape american history, monday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> next, a discussion about the challenges women face in political campaigns and in office. and recent campaigns affected by candidate statements caught on tape. after that, a discussion of the future of the republican party. now a panel form the annual netroots convention. christine pelosi, daughter of house speaker nancy pelosi, talks about the obstacles women face while running for office and legislating. this is about one hour, 15 minutes. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> good afternoon. my name is christine pelosi. i chaired the california democratic women's party caucus. and it is my honor to introduce to you for members of my caucus who happened to be four amazing, powerful, effective leaders. we have with us today the very first african-american councilwoman, from antioch, california, and a graduate and executive of the women's caucus, monica wilson. [applause] next to monica is my former assemblywoman and future other elected leader and the first chinese american speaker pro
tem of the california state assembly, fiona ma. [applause] fiona, we have a woman who has dedicated her career to helping women run for office. i met her when she was on the board of emerge america. she is now the executive director of emerge california. please welcome kimberly ellis. [applause] and nationaliend, and international leader, a member of congress from oakland, but we all claim her, and congressional release onto the united nations, a fearless, fabulous leader, barbara lee. [applause] to run forcide you might put out a
tweet. younext thing you know, will get any number of people using their real names, giving free advice on everything from your hair is too short, too long, you should color it, stop botox,g it, use too much not enough botox come get your teeth fixed, there is a vein in your neck come your face is too long for that outfit, are you sure you want to be wearing that, what are you doing talking about issues like women's issues and feminism, don't you know we are tired of hearing about women complain about wanting to be the same as men, you are talking about sexual assault, haven't we had enough slut-shaming and victims shaming, why do you have to bring this to us, and by the way, what makes you think you can talk about national security, you have never carried a gun, you have never protected anybody.
oh, i see, you want to talk politics. what made you think that one woman can survive in a man's world of all addicts. there is no way you can do that. are you really sure? wait a second time you're single, aren't you question mark can you attract anybody question mark you are married, does your husband know you're doing this? what does he think, why isn't he running? you have children? who is taking care of your children? you are divorced? hmm, i can see why. must have put your career of your spouse. you are a widow? you must have killed him. all of these things happen. by the way, that is just part of my own personal twitter stream. wait until it happens to you. so you say to yourself, why would i want to do that, why would i want to encounter that? i have not even gotten to the comments from your dear friends who say, are you sure this is what you really want to do? this is really hard. this is really hard, and i know how things get for you when things are hard. you start to sound a little bit
like a bitch. are you sure you want to do that in public. did you just say that word on c- span? oh, good lord. as is the kind of thing every single woman running for party office or public office has to deal with. because all of my friends and candidates are still politically viable, i thought i would say all of those words for them, but the reality is, i own my fit them in as him. as anybody who follows me knows, i am quite aware of the double standards. if i was not experiencing that myself, i would certainly be experiencing them when i watch the way that people treat my mother, nancy pelosi. i see her go from an actually very culturally conservative catholic grandmother to being the things they say about her online, really vilified by the tea party. and that made me realize a couple things. one, i thought it was important to do this panel today so you
could hear from people who are out there confronting the major issues of our time and confronting the sexism that the status quo forces you to not have a conversation. why should we talk about equality when we can talk about whether somebody is being uppity? why should we talk about war and peace when we can talk about with somebody's wearing? why in the world would we want to talk about shifting the power dynamic and we could instead talk about my hair? well, the reality is we know the issues require a full conversation of women, women of color, women from the lgbt community, and in order to have that conversation, we need to support women when they step up and run. that is what my panelist do every day. and there is a decision that was made by our first question recipient, and that is congress woman barbara lee. so i will sit and join the panel
after i ask this question -- on september 11, 2001, america was attacked in a horrible terrorist attack. thousands were killed. our country was changed, and the psyche of our country was changed. and we had never experienced anything like that in our lifetimes. and when the entire country was debating, what is it we are supposed to do, everyone, everyone except one in congress said, we are going to support a vote for a declaration of war. now, many democrats were behind the scenes to make that authorization a lot more specific and grounded, but nevertheless, they voted yes. one person voted no. so the thought exercise i have for congresswoman barbara lee, the woman courageous enough to make that vote, was this -- your
family was in the military. you represented military installations in your community, and you stood up and said no. tell us a little bit about what that was like and how you think the reaction might have been different if you were a straight white male. , christine. so much think you for the great introduction. you just laid it out. what we all face as women. just thank you for your tremendous initiative. and what a difference an election makes with your mother as speaker. i just have to say that because we have a lot of work to do for our country and for women especially. you know, first of all, i didn't recognize myself after the media and those out there tried to describe who this person was, who this woman was who cast that vote. , just as with speaker pelosi, demonized me, they
called me a traitor, they said i was committing an act of treason, lots of death threats. they said i was crazy, did not know what i was doing, did not know what i was talking about. the whole nine yards. but they never said, yes, i was raised in a military family, the daughter of a 25 year veteran who served in two wars. yes, i represent many military families and military installations. on, i am asked tough terrorism and protecting our country and global peace and real globalpport peace and security efforts that would have reduced terrorism. they never said that. but they describe this person who was someone, again, i did not recognize. i don't think they would have done that had i been a male. especially a white male. they did not believe i knew what the constitution says. i read the constitution.
i know the constitution. they gave me no credit for having cast a thoughtful vote. i explained my vote on the floor. i explained the constitutional issues. i also said this could spiral out of control and congress should never give authority to any president to wage war forever. under any circumstances. that congress had a right -- [applause] under the constitution to debate whether or not we commit our young men and women to harm's way, to war, and that we commit our tax dollars, now over a trillion dollars to a war. so my reasons were logical. they made sense. and believe you me, now i think everyone understands what that was about. [laughter] but they do not even give me credit for being on the foreign affairs committee. i had been involved in international foreign-policy most of my life. but had once again i been a white male, i'm sure those kind of attacks would not have come.
i am certain they would have given me some credit for knowing what i was doing. but in this instance, and i still say it was because i was a woman, an african-american that, the demonization came was because in many ways people saw me as a target. they were angry and they cannot come up with anything but these very terrible, sexist and racist depictions of who i was. and for that, i had to just stand and take it. that fight act, also. back also.t talk to the press. what i did was hopefully communicate to the world who i really was and why i really cast that vote. and for women, i just have to say that women always have to do double duty. we have to convince others that we know what we are doing, that we are smart, that we understand what we're doing, and that we are as smart as men.
and i think that was an instance where i had to really convince those who were attacking me, and others, well, those who were attacking me as one group of people, but others began to believe it. i had to convince those who were about to believe this that i knew what i was doing, i knew what i was talking about, i knew what the deal was and i do exactly what i voted no on that resolution. i think history sooner or later will show -- history will absolve me. someone just said from the audience, it already has. appreciate that very much. kimberly, moving down the panel, kimberly, we just ask congresswoman lee about the most public incidents of sexism in her career, one that we saw and knew about. tell us a little bit about you and the work that you do. how do you encounter sexism and what strategy do you have to overcome it?
>> yeah, so as the executive director of a merge california, i have the privilege and and honor of working with women all across the beautiful state of california to inspire and encourage them to really step into political power. theto take a seat at decision-making table. and i can honestly say that it is one of the most fulfilling things i have ever done in my life. in terms of sexism, it is really thisesting, i talk about with my husband some of the times. i feel like i personally, because i have not run for office yet, don't actually encounter a lot of sexism. i think that has to do with the fact that i am very confident and very strong in who i am as a woman and in our ability as women, and very vocal about that.
and also that that comes across. personally, i have not encountered a whole bunch of sexism. but i do know that the women who go through the emerge program and have graduated from the emerge program, especially those who have run for office and who now hold office, have had to do with it a lot. that kind of goes back to a lot of the stuff that we teach in the emerge california program, that you have to be able to find the confidence in the strength to know that you are just as qualified. you are just as smart, you are just as talented as men are. and you deserve a seat at the table. and you deserve an opportunity for your voice to be heard and for your perspective to be heard. ,eally instilling in women that you know, they are just as qualified is a huge part of combating the sexism that i think they will inevitably encounter and do encounter on a daily basis. were in ma, when you
the assembly, you are in a leadership position. they had seen men of color, as speaker, but they had not seen as a woman of color as speaker pro tem. you had the credentials of everybody else, but you had power over them. what was that like for the guys and what was that like for you? >> i really think it depends on the leader. , as many of perez you know, is a very progressive individual. he believes that everyone is equal and wants to treat everyone equally. so he does a good job of trying to diversify his leadership team, the committee chairs, just balancing out all of the committees. i'm very lucky that i was serving under speaker perez and
that he appointed me as his right hand, number two person. i do have a sexism story. can i share that? >> please do. >> i was lucky because i was serving in the san francisco board of supervisors for years. for anyone who knows-cisco, there are real -- for anyone who knows san francisco, we are all different shades of democrats. we don't face sexism as much. when i got elected to the state assembly in 2006, i ran a bill based on an article in one of the newspapers. a young couple, having dated seven years, they wanted to get married. but they wanted to change their last name. each of them had been adopted. they did not feel a connection to their adopted names and wanted to come up with a married name for themselves. reading an article, a woman
could go down to the city clerk's office and put whatever name she wanted after they got married. a man could not. he would have to hire an attorney, they would have to file publicly in the newspapers they wanted to change their name, and it would have to wait a certain time before they could officially change in name. i thought it was really unfair. i decided to pose a bill that was the name change bill. lo and behold, i got some press on it. i got a postcard in the mail from a gentleman in a small town. he had his name and address and a little american flag on the postcard. ms. ma, yourr bill is the silliest thing i have ever heard. you should go home and bake cookies." as you can imagine my shock
when i got to sacramento, i was like, what is going on. i had not really dealt with people like this. framed on my bookshelf and whatever i could, i would just show people there are people who are different than us, but they are entitled to their opinion and perhaps one day i will write him back when i have something i guess important to respond to him and send him a postcard back. >> monica wilson, when you first decided you were going to run others tried to dissuade you in order to protect you from yourself. that is one of my pet thieves, -- that is one of my pet peeves, that we have to stop protecting ourselves. and men, too, mentioning the concerns in the beginning. a hardeneding into
opposition when you insist on going forward. tell us about your decision to run for office, some of the things that you encountered, and what happened when you ran? >> when it came for me -- when it came time for me to run, i knew that i wanted to run for office. i knew that i wanted to run for the city council position. i remember when i let the information out to people letting them know i was running for this office, i remember a lot of men coming up to me, saying, city council? why don't you run for school board? why are you doing that? i got that more so from men than women. every once in a while i would get a woman. usually if it was from a woman, it was mostly come you are single, you really don't -- since you are not married, you really don't get the whole picture. she never really explained that comment, but, ok, to her, i do not get the big picture. those were the comments. once the campaign got knowing -- once the campaign got going
and we had forums, i believe it was our second, maybe the third forum, and at the time the current mayor decided he was going to run for city council. we had just finished this form, i was feeling good, but i did a good job, answer the questions, i was to the point, i did not pontificate 10 minutes. the mayor came up to me and said, you did a really good job. and he said it just like that. i was kind of like, what? did you really mean that? i would get that from people. and once i had been in office, i still get a friend comments, even from fellow councilmember saying, did you understand what the report said? yeah, i read it, i understood it. or had a former councilmember come up to me at an event who was not too pleased with how i voted on a particular ordinance. , youme up to me and said don't understand, i used to be on the council, i know what it is like.
you don't understand. i came back and said these are my reasons why i voted the way i did. you need to back off a little bit. as he was walking away, i rumor thinking, that is why you are only -- i remember thinking, that is why you are only on the council one term. but i'm amazed that it is an ongoing battle to always prove myself. yes, i understand what is going on. i read my reports, i asked questions. in they meticulous information that is coming up on council meetings. i am also really shocked how many people on the council don't read the information that comes. but i'm amazed how many men feel -- and i don't say all men, but i'm amazed how many men feel they are justified to come up to me and just point their finger and," you don't understand." i had a man, i don't understand -- you don't understand i don't like the way that you voted. you did us wrong. and he is pointing his finger
at me, shaking it. before he had a chance to respond, he had turned around, ran to his truck, and drove away. how somefascinated by men in particular will feel they are justified to come up to me and tell me how i should and should not have voted. >> and the way in which they do. each of you to a certain degree were talking about the importance of credential lies in yourself --g yourself credentials. women tend to overcompensate ize to proveial- themselves. that gets into a fear question. my next question, starting with you, congresswoman, is, how do you tackle that fear of failure or success? >> first of all, in terms of very few things i'm afraid of. i think when i think
about just my life and what i have been through and what i want to see for this country, for the world, it it's that hope that help us meet get over that fear. it is that optimism. it is that commitment to justice and peace and the work i do each and every day that really helps fear just dissipate. , you, as a person of faith know, i'm a person of faith. not every body are people of faith, people have values and a sense of morality and what they believe in. and for me, i have to always peopler that there are out there who are the least of these, who look for some of us
to help them over some very difficult times, who need someone to speak for them, for the voiceless, and that helps me in terms of any fear i have to really realize that fear is a selfish emotion. i'm going to do what i have to do on this earth, you know, i cannot be afraid. and i have to close by just saying, i always remember and think of my ancestors. you know, the slavery, the slave trade, and what happened during slavery, what happened during during jim crow, segregation. and i started school -- this dates me, really -- when i started school, i cannot go to public schools because i was black. so i remember those days.
for soit had not been many people who were fearless and fought for women's rights and for civil rights, i mean, they were fearless. they paved, -- they paid, oftentimes, the supreme price. these are people i remember each and every day that helped helped me overcome whatever fear i may have. because if they were not afraid to take on the issues and the challenges and the government to make this a more perfect union, then who am i to be afraid to do any of this work. and so i just have to remember everybody who came before may and who took a chance -- who came before me and took a chance just so we could be free and have some semblance of fighting for the american dream. >> that's beautiful. [applause] beautiful. kimberly, you train people who are afraid of both. some are afraid of losing, others are afraid of winning. so what advice can you share with us? , veryh, i mean, i think
similar to what the congresswoman has said, i try to communicate to the women that fear of failure is really a waste of time and energy and that we should approach the failure and the possibility of failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. and i know there is a famous ,uote that i love, sharon woods -- sharing with women, which is, "people who are afraid to fail are people who don't take a lot of risks." and so really embracing failure, not as a bad thing but as a good thing and opportunity to learn. and i would say on the other end of that spectrum, the fear of success is probably the biggest fear, even bigger than the fear of failure. quote that iher
love, from marianne williamson, that is something like, "our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, and it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." i think that is absolutely true. i don't think it is necessarily differ year of failing but the fear of succeeding and what that success means. when you're successful, when you take a stand, when you speak out, when you stand up for what is right and for the voiceless, that comes with consequences. itcan sometimes be scary, can be lonely. it can also be dangerous, quite honestly, being able to stand up and speak out for what is right. the fear of being successful i think is even bigger than the fear of success in terms of a merge, getting out there and letting their light shine, standing up for what is right
and what they know is right and just, and being able to stand there and speak truth and power even if your voice shakes. for us, we sort of counterbalance that. we get them past the fear of failure and then it becomes the fear of being successful and being ok with that and to stand up and stand for what is right and just. i think we are getting there. >> i guess i have been blessed taught parents who never me to be afraid. there we said, yeah, go for it. the matter what i did, they were there supporting me, clapping, saying how great i was coming even if i was not so great, like singing, even though i love it. my parents wanted me to be an accountant. that's why i have an accounting background, cpa. i know that the board of equalization member betty ye is
here, and we are the daughter of immigrant parents who had a lot of expectations on us to be in an honorable profession. certainly, politics is not considered honorable to the asian community. ,o i fought my parents for many many years, saying, mom and dad, i don't think i was meant to be an accountant. helping people do taxes 16 hours a day behind a computer, i really feel i need to help people. totook a long time for me decide to finally run for office. i guessinally did, because i took so long and because i was so passionate about it, i worked harder than all the candidates that were running. i still continue to believe that if you don't want to face failure, work harder. , and as're a candidate a woman, we do need to work harder than everybody else. but in the end, it is worth it.
i don't see things as success or failure. legislation that i work on. it is about milestones. it is about pushing the envelope further. it is about trying to help people, like right now i'm trying to help battered women get out of jail. in the end, we to think -- sleep well at night. i feel like i am doing the right thing for the right reasons. am times or i am not sleeping, i am and earned out, i need to go back and do accounting -- i am burned out, i need to go back and do accounting. >> i had supportive parents. the first thing i ever ran for was for the committee. my dad said, just go for it. do it.
and i did it and i was able to win and was successful. when i came to run for council, i ran into some nervousness. i came back to my mom and she said the same thing, go for it. i remember a friend sitting down and saying, you have to believe you are the best person for this job. nobody else can do the job the way you can do it in you are going to be successful. the minute i heard that, the fear washed away and i was able to take that leap of faith and run and speak out on issues i felt passionate about. lee touchedsswoman on this. looking at things in my past. i worked at mills college. i tell students this as well. being able to look at your past. times when things are the best were difficult for you to do and you were able to do it.
were difficult and you were able to do it. there were so many events in your life back prepare you for the next events. i was able to take a couple of things to really overcome that fear. do i get nervous from time to time? yes. i try to use that positive energy to focus on what i am making my point about our my argument about. used myhow i have nervousness to help me achieve this office. >> i will drill down a little bit. you started to enter the next question. i will ask one more question -- you started to answer the next question. i will ask one more question of the panel. the sanprosecutor in francisco district attorney's office prosecuting sexual assault cases. for the longest time afterwards, my biggest fear and
my touchstone for success were some the same cases. i remember working with victors, the best victims, working with survivors who were overcoming their sexual assault to make it into the courtroom. and confront their accusers. abusers. through all of the challenges i had professionally after which i would think, i was able to achieve justice, i had some really, really tough cases, successful to where the perpetrators decided to start stocking me. stalking me.t there is still a case i remember losing where i wake up in the middle of the night and think of a way i could have won that case. not for the competition of winning the case, but getting
justice for the children. particularly when you are in public life going to challenges and you look back at something that was a challenge to you, something that was difficult, in some ways when you are afraid, it is the face of failure to you. when a new challenge comes along, you think it will be just like that. when you are going through trying times, having succeeded in something difficult allows you to put a current situation in perspective. for me, my touchstone revolves around some of the work i did years ago in the trenches and continue to do. a woman here is working on the document remove the about military rate. that is why i was so proud when your colleague was the public face of a rape survivor in the violence against women act. really love gwem moore,
african-american rape survivor for standing on the -- gwen moore, the african american red survivor, or standing on the floor of the congress. [applause] what is that touchstone and victory or trauma or success that is your touch-tone as you ground yourself in public life? ? -- touchstone. and it wasmy memoir a difficult book to write. i wrote my memoir and you have to be authentic. i had to take for a lot of reasons, especially after i cast my vote. people said, how were you able
to do that? i said, that was the right thing to do. in a democracy, dissent is central to a democracy. that was not really an act of courage. that was the right thing to do. writing a memoir was difficult. i am a private person as a public official. our lives are totally public. there is that zone of privacy, privacy2%, that you want to -- 2%, thatrivacy, maybe you want to keep. we beat that firm bank bill. we made it. for me to talk about being -- farm bill, we made it. for me to talk about being on public assistance was difficult.
it is helping other women in terms of understanding what is taking place in their lives and there should not be a stigma if you need a helping hand when you are going through difficult times. anad to write about being unmarried teenagers, a pregnant teenager. teenage, ad pregnant teenager, being a battered woman. againstto the violence women act in california and trying to get women who had actually killed in their , but they- batterer had never received justice and they had been incarcerated for life. they had histories in the emergency room of almost being killed over and over again. i remember going to a hearing at the prison.
sudden, iudden -- the saw myself in there. i could have been one of those young ladies. that is where i was. that took a heck of a lot as a public official, to be able to share some of these stories. what i learned was that it gave other women encouragement and the ability to say, if you can overcome all of this stuff and get here, maybe i can, too. how do i do expect -- do it? here hard for me to sit up and talk about it right now. as a public official, that has been the hardest thing in the world, to reveal some of my past as a way to help women along the way not have to go through what i went through. >> thank you.
[applause] for me, i am crystal clear about what that is. i am a graduate of emerge california. that hadnited a fire been burning in side -- inside of me for a long time. 2009, a position became available as a national affiliate. i was at a professional wantedads in my life and the lot -- the job at emerge america. i had no political experience whatsoever. i went ahead and interviewed for the job and interviewed for another job for director of hr, something i had a background in
and had been doing forever, could do with my eyes closed. halfway through the interview process for both of those jobs, i had made it for the final interview around and i got a call from my mom, who told me i should probably start making my way back home to tennessee because my 28-year old brother was about to die from cancer. this was my brother who i had raised since birth. . was close to him he was an all-american hero. he played football at the university of alabama, a dean's list, did not drink, did not smoke. the picture of perfection. an amazing human being. go therelly having to and watch my brother die,
literally, in my arms -- i was there when he took his last breath -- i knew what i had to do, which was walking into my seat here, to confront and face the thing i was afraid of most, but wanted most. that was to stand up and use my voice and let my light shine and do what god put me on earth to do, which was to use the influence of my voice to inspire and encourage other women to step forward and take a seat at the table so that we can create the world we know is possible. emerge what i do at california is not just a job. it is personal. i have a personal interest in the success of the women who come through the program and the other women whose shoulders we stand on to pave the way and really lead as western women, as
californians, to lead the way for the rest of the country and the rest of the world to show that, not only do women deserve a seat at the table, but that once they are there, the policy and the legislation that comes out on the other end is more just, more equitable, and more inclusive for everyone in the community. that is what this is all about, making sure our policy matches our values and principles as americans and humans. that is what this fight is all about. i consider myself to be a soldier in this army that is really fighting for justice and peace for california, for america and for this world. [applause] >> kimberly said, as a legislator, our job is to pass laws. youou go through our bills,
will see bills that are personal to all of us, some that are not, some that are personal to constituents or industry groups, something we read in the newspaper. we get our bill ideas from all different places. as a legislator with six years in the state assembly, i felt a sense of urgency to get as many bills passed as i could. i think i have passed about 60 bills in my six years, which is a lot of work for my staff. werest two bills that signed by the governor last september were probably my most favorite bills. it has to do with some of the work congresswoman barbara lee started having to do with syndrome.oman
some of these victims did not theirere justice during jury trials and, consequently, they are sitting in jail. there are about 11,000 women sitting in prison right now. the majority of them have gone to some kind of domestic violence in their lifetime. many are there was no seeing their life on the outside. hardst two bills, we worst as wellumentary makers who spent 26 years in jail and was out advocating for her sister's in jail. the study bills are giving these women -- advocating for her sisters in jail. these two bills are giving these
chance.in chance -- a thearted going through parole board. ofeard about this system former mostly public safety retirees who were tough on crime. they did not believe they should release anybody. i wanted to see for myself. i have been to two parole board hearings. i am two for two. it makes them nervous when i said in -- sit in on their hearings. good. i will sit in on more parole hearings. brenda virgil is going to get out of prison.
she has been abuse all of her life. she has faced three lung cancer. she has a small chance of living, but she will be released on tuesday. for me, it is about saving lives. it is about personal stories. it is not about pieces of paper. it is about trying to find a deeper meaning to the work i am doing. it only came after 10 years of being in elected office that i felt there is something deeper behind the pieces of paper we submit as bills. had a renewed sense of purpose in what i am doing and i look forward to continuing going back into public office. [applause] for me, that pivotal point
was in a former life. i was living in new york city. i had just graduated from college. i went to college in d.c. and went to new york city. i was working in the retail management. my supervisor said, it is time for you to manage your own store. she sent me to a store that was store699 out of -- ranked 699 out of 750 stores. sometimes manages what they are and they disappeared. it was really nerve wracking. what is going to happen? being the analytical person i am, i stepped back and evaluate what was going on in the store. who was working and who was not working? who were the people in my neighborhood who shocked that store? i walked been able to lead to a figure of who lived -- i shopped that store.
what did people in that neighborhood want the? a year later when the rankings came out again, i was ranked 51. [applause] i remember the regional office called me. ohio was calling me. what did you do? i just sat back and paid attention of what was the demographic of that particular store? i had a good staff and we were a good team that worked well together. i always refer back to that story when i come back to something that is really hard. remember the store back in new york? i am able to go back and look dead that and really -- and look at that and see how hard i worked. that is the pivotal point for
me. no matter how tough it is. the hill may be released, but you can get up the hill. that is what i used to help motivate me. [applause] inwe have some amazing women the audience and a wonderful men here, too. you have any questions as a group or individually, we have a volunteer who will be handing you the microphone. ok. hi. >> i am currently one of the and i will bes the first african-american president of andover america. it has definitely been a learning experience. we are learning about public speaking and everything else
involved in running for office. my question is, as women of with thew did you deal judgment that inevitably affects all women candidates? dress, shouldwe we do it differently from white women who are elected? i would like to hear your comments on that. >> yes, i did experience that when i was running. more so on my dress than anything else. i was running for the assembly at the time. every time i was running, they would come to me and saying, your shirt is too low cut. what i get that about
was wearing. inannot think of any place america where this does not happen. anywhere you run, you will get the racism that comes along with that. campaign, might push was economic development and talking about how we need to look within our community to see what types of businesses would support us. i remember when i was reading a blog and somebody said, monica wilson is about economic development. she will bring in more fried chicken and watermelons -- racist stuff like that. it is noise. you have to not listen to it and stay focused on what you are running for. if you are running as president of democrats of america, that is your focus. stay on that. all the other stuff, clothing, hair, is just noise.
>> i agree. i got involved in politics -- i have to mention this because often we forget that the first african-american woman elected to congress, shirley chisholm, paved the way for barack obama to be elected. [applause] was a dear friend and mentor and got me involved in politics when she came up as the black student union president of mills college. the bottom line is she told me one thing and i got involved in politics as a result of her running for president. she said to me, people are going to believe you based on what you do. if you ever run for office -- this was in the early 1970's and i never thought i would run for office. people will support you come work for you because of who you are and what you do, not because of how you dress.
do not change. once elected, people will not trust you if you change up. she kept repeating that over and over again. just be yourself. often times, women, especially women of color, are pulled in many directions because of the new hampshire of being -- because of the image of being, you were a welfare queen. he did not want to go through this again because women might start calling you the welfare queen again. i said, the sort tried to make sure we do not pass a $20 billion cut in benefits. if it helps if i get out and start talking about being on food stamps, so be it. we have to be who we are and know who we are. deeds, deeds -- their
so they will know you. >> there is a great book by melissa harris perry, sister citizen. is an amazing book that talks about that. i will refer to the graduation we just have for this past saturday for the class of 2013. another reason why i feel so incredibly blessed to have the privilege to be surrounded by such amazing women who come from all across the country. that particular session was talking about answering the tough questions. in one of the exercises, the women had to ask each other the scare is question they did not want to get. one of the women in the class, an african-american, the director of programs for an organization that trains young girls in college and high-school
to build their political ambition, a beautiful african- american woman. she has this beautiful afro. the question that was asked of her was, don't you think it is inappropriate for you to have that kind of hair style running for office? don't you think that is not professional or inappropriate? the answer that she gave was so beautiful. what she said was, as a woman who works with young girls and young ladies, they cannot even dream of being what they cannot see. for them, it is important that they see other women who look like them, dress like them, have a hair like them, who are being leaders and role models. no, my hair is not appropriate. it is not unprofessional. it is who i am and i am proud of it. i stand as a role model for other young african-american
women who are coming up who are looking for other women in leadership roles to look like them to aspire to. what theely echo congresswoman said. do not be afraid to stand up and let your light shine. 2002, ou google me from you will see a totally different person. [laughter] consultants, they feel justified to change you completely. they said cut your hair, darken it. my campaign photo is in a red turtleneck. my campaign said dress conservatively, and that is what they made me. i am not comfortable that way. i would say to you, the
comfortable with who you are. it makes a difference when you are out there meeting people, banking the people. if you are not comfortable with people. -- thanking the if you are not comfortable with what you are wearing or the way your hair is, it is going to show. i am not trying to hire another political consultant because they will tell me, cut your hair, darken it, not where hee ls. i do not want to be told that. i am 47 years old. i feel i have come to my age and i feel proud of it. i do not want people to tell me what to do any more. just be yourself and it will reflect in what you do every day. [applause] >> hi. ataught high school for
number of years. i can tell you that the kids in see a big difference between the [indiscernible] their communication skills are diminishing. all of the teachers that we spoke to felt the same way. drama department and we are isolated with the drama kids. what does it take to motivate kids, teenagers? what made you feel braver? were you always that way. i was a shy kid. a room never stand up in and talk this way. what was it that got you doing what you are doing? what would you suggest we adults do to bring that out in kids?
from a quietr family. i remember the day it shifted over from volunteering with my mom to volunteering on my own. when i grew up, they had omething called vip's, volunteers in politics. you paid a dollar a month. my mom was the chair. every month, you had to come speaker. a speech -- a every month, a leader came to talk to people. i remember the day that it shifted. what really affected me was bad barbara mikulski had just been to el salvador and talked about the nuns who had been killed in 1980. of all the stories i had heard of to that point -- i thought, who would kill a nun?
ourdoes that and why is government paying armies to go out and kill nuns? this did not make any sense to me. my parents were mad, but not really that mad at me. to take.ing the arts are very important. we will talk about teaching the arts, and encouraging children to study the arts and follow that, rather than conforming to the standardized testing. they will tell you what they are interested in. people do not want to listen, or the do not get credit for, so they shut down. encouraging young people to listen, not be surprised when they do we ask them to do, which is to speak up. >> i think you are right. arts and drama, a big part of
this. i was very shy and quiet as a child. books,the piano, i read very studious. i probably would be doing it to this day at it not been for seeing how my mother and father and grandfather were very active .n the naacp and texas i could not figure out what was going on as a child. as a move to california, and began to realize the injustices in this world, and then wanted to be a cheerleader, i could make a mature letter i didn't meet the criteria of being blonde. i had to do some things i could be a children. as what happened to me. i went to the naacp in san
fernando and asked them to help me. they did. where the rules changed they could be elected. i was the first black chile under elected. that brought me out. it was having a really wanted to do. i think it's important to find something that you people really want. i think that is probably what we haven't been doing very well. >> i think, as the mother of two young kids, and a teenager who was often like this, i feel like technology has a big role in this. i think that, this is relatively new for me, instead of blaming
technology and saying what later the iphone -- put away the iphone, we need to re-examine and re-approach it, and start trying to use technology to help inspire them. i was at a conference on wednesday. there was a woman, i forget the name of the app, but she created which gave app history of all of the famous and important women in women's history. all the accomplish this it they had accomplished for the country. .t was fascinating she was showing the pictures and really talk about how she was using that in your committee to engage with young kids, and the young girls.
we need to reapproach it and see how we can incorporate technology to help the kids get more involved. not feeling as though we as parents need to do everything. mommy is now trying to save the world and do what she can, but you have a role in this as well. really making them feel empowered, and they a part of this as well. they need to have some skin in the game. they need to the getting off the couch. finding ways to incorporate them in the fight is huge and important. alexis started with the brownies and the girl scouts -- >> it started with the brownies and these girl scouts.
it is all about getting rewarded for doing good deeds. i think that has really permeated my whole existence. i am so motivated by that. i think that for kids, if you give them opportunities to succeed, and it is on this early grades -- and it is not necessarily grades, how do you reward them for doing good things. they are going to go out and do things other of the home to figure out there is more to life than getting straight a's. -- girlrole scarves scouts. >> for me, it was music read i played -- it was music. me,nd teacher encouraged
and compliment me on how i to class upset about something. he pulled me aside and he said, tell me what is going on. somebody was listening when problem i was having. it is about taking that and fast forwarding to now. in the city i live in, we are having problems in our middle schools and high schools with bullying. it we start with one of the high schools. we set a doing listening circles with small groups. as we did this with high school students, they were saying it was the first time people have listened to us. they put a question out there and let us tell our stories read wanted with the -- stories. that once we given them
the opportunity to start speaking, creating a form where young people can talk until you what is going on on, if there is a problem at home, if they are having problems that school, or they feel like their parents are not listening to them, giving them the opportunity, giving them the chance to speak and let them hear their stories. caapp. is the cap -- lead her forward. hello. i am 60 years old. when i first got involved in politics, i was 15 years old. i cared about getting woman
elected. i never thought i would get this far. celebrate, i thought by the time i turned 60 years old, we would have two percent -- 50% of women. i wondered if you would comment on assuming that if it is a man and a woman running against each other, the man is more progressive. we had two really strong people running against each other, but many regressive's -- progressives thought the man was more progressive. , whenesidential primary hillary clinton wasn't considered to be as progressive as the men she was running against. i just feel like we are missing some solidarity.
particularly, for those of you who are out there supporting other women, and training women to run for office, how can we really own the fact that we deserve to have 50% representation at all levels of government? >> what you need is public finance campaign reform. before you do that, women are going to be dialing for dollars on the phone, rather than out in the community listening, talking , sharing credentials. we lost the races of 11 pro- choice democratic women in 2006 by five points or less. 11 women. i knew them well. even that big way, we lost them. when we did, we try to figure out why did women lose?
it could've been 11 more votes. there are two things that happened. one thing that happened was they didn't have money early enough. when attacks come against them, they do not have a strong enough base in the community to push back. they had to go through a tougher nomination. they had a tougher election, competing with candidates for money. the other issue is that each of them had their gender turned against them and answer my republicans that would have a ,oman carrying a little baby film the blank. she's going to give this woman and her baby your money. food stamps. the reality is that legally, she could not even if she wanted to breathe is not the law. she wasn't running to change the
law so that she could. that law be sabbath that it can govern from the heart -- i thought that she would be sympathetic and govern from the hard. she is just too sympathetic to keep us safe. the problem was in those ads. their problem was they had not built enough coalitions within the immigrant committed to do stand up and say we are going to help this family. what if we did change the law? the reality is, we need is to have one america, and everyone working together. make sure they had built the when they were? -- women building is have to be just as responsible
for building coalitions amongst communities of color, particularly why women -- white women. be presumed by any means. the saying goes in politics, if you do not respect us, do not expect us. what christine was saying. we have to get the money out. that is absolutely essential. secondly, women -- pro-choice women -- are very progressive women on issues. me whenign manager told i first ran for the assembly way back in 1989, this goes record to the money, she said maybe no one knows you now, but you have enough money, you can create whoever you want to be in seven
days. we can make you whatever. i can't believe this. that is a money does. money and politics is very key to women being elected to any public office. we have to really committed to overturning citizens united. that is key. >> the wait we do that is to get more men elected. we need to start supporting other women candidates. with our wallets. putting money behind them early. moreiven -- men give them money than women candidates. an interesting thing, but true. i think it is really important that we keep reminding our mail
friends -- male friends it is not the sake of getting more woman elected for the sake of getting woman elected. our values and principles pre-we need to make sure they understand that they are partners in this. we need men talking about the importance of getting more woman elected. including the men in the conversation, having them come on as surrogates, is just as in this fight as it is having woman there. >> i would also say that this is a grassroots nation. we are all about technology. is your website good? everyone is going to go to your website first. i learned i need to set my own image. i have a facebook, a fan page, i tweaket.
i had that my wikipedia, make sure no one is posting things on it. everyone does it. we need to manage our own image. technology is the great leveler. back then, when i got elected, we depended on the papers to report what we were doing, good or bad. these days, the papers are not doing so good. they go on the internet. let us control our own image. we can do that. we can negate the attacks. money is still a big problem. we need to have mentors. make sure our own public image is what we want to project to the world. >> i'm with to keep it short. -- i am going to keep it short. if you know a woman candidate that is running, encourage them and inspire them. do not say, when i got ready to
to, when it came time needing money, crickets. they would not even answer the phone. please support. if you feel very strongly, help them any way you can. write them a check. be there and support them. >> i want to thank our amazing panelist. i would think are amazing audience. [applause] [applause] [no audio] >> next, a look at campaigns affected by candidate statements that were caught on tape.
after that, a discussion of the republican party. -- , another chance journal,xt washington the alliance for health reform talks about the obama administration announced with a mandate for large employers to provide workers up insurance coverage or pay penalties is been delayed from 2014 to 2015. washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> one of the points you make in this book is didn't make any difference to have direct popular elections?
it did make a difference. senators began acting like house members. they were out scavenging for votes. they had to deal with the people. all you need is 14 votes, you can easily pay off, and they did pay off 14 senators. >> more with richard baker sunday night on q&a. >> if kern county where state, it would be the top five oil producers in the nation. to put this in context, 75% of all of oil production in
california is done in kern county. overview two percent of the natural gas is right here in kern county. county,ooking at this oil and agriculture. they are the two largest industries that we have. it turns the economy. >> the history and literate life of bakersfield california. >> next, a panel discussion on the net roots nation conference. this is one hour 20 minutes.
>> good afternoon. we are going to get started here. i'm your moderator. , using republicans using republicans words to shut the whole thing down. there you have it. i'm going to introduce our panelists here. the president of american bridge. the powerful, permanent research arm of the progressive movement of democratic politics. they brought you the greatest hits of the laced -- last election cycle.